Disclaimer for this ENTIRE story: I do not own Harry Potter. I'd be a lucky and rich woman if I did. The characters are property of J. K. Rowling. :D
Just FYI this will follow 6th year events roughly, it's not going to be super OC ('cause I HATE that) but it will deviate from certain characters dying and such. This is a Snermione shipper, just to warn you. I'll break it in easy, and that is why the M rating is for later.
Chapter One: All for One and One for All
The group sat in front of the Gryffindor fire, cross-legged and intent on the conversation. It was getting intense because the fire seemed to glint off of Harry's eyes, and Ron kept gesticulating grandly, as if he were a windmill and could create his own form of energy. Hermione, however, was not impressed where this conversation was headed, and her crossed arms and slight frown were giving her true thoughts to the matter away.
"Harry, even if you did know the spell, and could properly duplicate it, it's not like it would make you an animagus. You said it yourself it only shows you your form. What exactly are you hoping to accomplish with this?"
"Mione, come on! It's all about the pursuit of knowledge. We need this. Especially right now. If we could manage our forms, that would help us with Voldemort. We need all the help we can get, you know."
His turbulent green eyes looked off into the distance; he'd been getting more introverted since he started his private lessons with Dumbledore earlier that month. Although he wouldn't come out and say it, both Ron, the juvenile prat that he was, and she both understood that it wasn't likely they were talking about the Chudley Cannons winning the season this year. Whatever he wanted to say to them would be revealed on its own time, otherwise, they would gladly wait and support him.
Hermione huffed and looked at the fire once more, weighing out the pros and cons. On one hand, it would be good for them to jump start the transformation process. If half the battle was to find the form, at least from what her research told her, then it could only be a boon to employ it. The faster they all got their forms, the safer they would be from attack. Making another mental note to check up on the old DA members, Hermione bit her lip thoughtfully.
The revelation of the form itself would help the boys to anticipate what they would become, and allow them to half sort of a satisfaction, give them a taste of what they want. A rueful smile later, she also realized this taste would probably make them very impatient and the banes of her existence. Ron and Harry knew full well that the contemplative gaze their frizzy-haired honorary sister held was a "quiet time" face. This meant that unless they both wanted to get hexed, they would remain quiet while she came to an important conclusion.
Hermione continued to raise points and counterpoints, listing them neatly in her mind so that she could decide the best course of action. After another few moments, and a dejected sigh, she looked at the two expectant teens. "If you annoy me with your impat-" was never finished from the attack hug she received. A shove to let her breathe and a laugh later she allowed the two boys to fawn over her with compliments and accolades.
"If you're quite done, let me see the book. I'll probably need to cross reference the book to check its validity, as well as do any preparations I might need beforehand. I want to make sure I'm doing the correct movements." A dusty, cracked, old tome was thrust in her hands jarringly. The look of censure that paused her perusal of the cramped writing on the yellowed page was followed by a sheepish green-eyed glance.
"The Beluaeporis spell was first heard of in the late 1650s from the witch Cathera. Although she helped the muggle world greatly advance during the Renaissance, much of her works goes uncredited because of her muggleborn status."
Hermione growled menacingly but continued, "Since her death, she was credited with no less than 23 unique spells, Beluae being her most famous. The spell itself is not difficult, but both the caster, as well as the initiate must properly prepare for the spell. If the meditation exercises are not properly performed beforehand, the link between beast and man can cause insanity or even sudden death from the shock of the mental strain.
Although not a true Animagus transformation, it is the first time the beast, or beluae, and the man, the corpis, are joined. Since normal animagus training takes years, the constant contact of the two wears a callus into the link, so when the first mental transformation does occur, it is not such a shock to the system."
Hermione looked up to the boys "Basically, we have to meditate, or we'll go insane."
Ron, ever captain obvious interjected, "So wait, we still have to meditate?" Harry jostled him in response.
"Come on you pillock. You know anything worth waiting for is worth it. Besides, we'll still have to meditate after the spell is performed to attain the complete mental and physical transformation anyway." Hermione looked at Harry appreciatively and considered their options.
"The book recommends three weeks at the minimum guided meditation. They have them here." She muttered a quick eminetus and the images were projected against the common room wall. The trio stared quietly as the archaic scrawls demonstrated proper positioning as well as techniques to maximize the time used. Idly wondering if drawing a cleansing circle would help to enhance the effect, she stopped the screen and turned back to the boys.
"You two have to be absolutely certain about this. There is no turning back. The book says that once you make this link, the bond will have to be completed. You can't just decide you don't want to be an animagus after this." Harry nodded solemnly, while Ron was a bit more eager in his response.
"Wonder if our patronus is like our forms." Hermione shrugged and peered at the yellowing pages once again. She explained as she set her quill to copy three sets of the book pages, "It can and it can't. From what I've researched, the form chooses you, not the other way around."
"Guess that means no acromantula for you Ron." Harry grinned at his best friend and earned a cuff to the back of the head for his quick wit.
Seeing as how the time was flying by, and she had rounds in a bit with Cormac she bid the boys adieu and set off to her room. They were only a hallway away, set apart if students needed private assistance, but close in an emergency. She smiled at the chambermaid Anastasia as she guarded her room.
"Rounds tonight Hermione? Or is that your cover for scampering off with Cormac again?" The maid winked and laughed, while Hermione smirked.
"We'll see your bonny lad gets his head out of his arse eventually." The prefect sobered momentarily thinking about how hopeless Ron can be sometimes. "That we shall see my dear Ana."
"Password please, m'dear?"
"Bollocks" The portrait swung open jauntily and the laughter from the maid echoed down the hall.
Her rooms were a subdued Gryffindor scheme. Dark polished mahogany featured in the room with a pleasing burnt umber tone. Her sitting room had a simple desk with books piled high but orderly to one side with paper sorters stacked haphazardly with completed and new assignments. The sitting area had a low table and thick rub complete with a small friendly fire. The bathroom led to the right, and her bed to the left. There was a small cupboard area near the fireplace that allowed her to keep tea fixings and some snacks if her guests wanted (or raided more like in Ron's case).
Her pride and joy, however, was her bedroom. The nerdy oasis is what Hermione looked forward to every day to come back and relax in. The sleigh bed was clearly the crowning glory, with intricately carved unicorns, centaurs and other magical forest creatures frolicking along it. They would occasionally travel, and Hermione could swear she could hear the whinnies of the horses if she listened hard enough. The room had a breathtaking view of the grounds and the forbidden forest, which loomed on the horizon. She'd taken to leaving the window open so she could hear the strange, but comforting woodland creatures in the night. Her small vanity was welcome, as well as her armoire. Since Crooks' litter box was stationed in the bathroom, it left her plenty of room for her packed bookshelf and commandeered chair that she took from the Room of Requirement.
Hermione set to work. Taking her copy and looking at the outlines she pinched some sea salt from her potions kits and laid her circle. After an hour, she woke up sweaty and lightheaded, not realizing that she was meditating so hard she had been lulled to sleep. Deciding that was the best course of action, she promptly went to bed.
Hermione was increasingly worried about Harry, especially since he started occulmency lessosn with Snape. Both teacher and student always looked drained, and she too was pulling late nights looking for more information about Horcruxes.
She was, however, starting to become aggravated. The meditation sessions were not getting any better. She was stressed, not because of schoolwork, or the looming threat of Voldemort, but by the sheer fact that Harry and Ron were making leaps and bounds in their meditations and overall readiness to cast the spell.
They took this quest very seriously, and regardless of the cramped schedules were meeting every other night in the Room of Requirement for meditation. The more someone meditated correctly, the book claimed that one would be introduced to your animagus' habitat or every day world.
The day she got worried was when Harry awoke and was drenched. About an hour in to the session, Ron had relaxed so much that he dropped his wand. This in turn startled Harry awake, but to his astonishment, Harry awoke to find himself drenched with a fishy taste in his mouth that he couldn't get rid of no matter how many breath freshening charms he tried. Ron, ever the jealous one, had been remarkably good natured about Harry's better success especially when Ron complained about the sensation of hair in his through several days later.
Hermione, on the other hand, was not amused.
Brightest witch of our time my arse she cursed to herself. She only felt hot and dizzy after her meditation, and nothing she did anything to relieve that sensation upon ending. Escaping to her relatively new haunt in the Astronomy Tower, Hermione relaxed as the wind gently tousled her hair. Looking out towards the forest she resolved that she had researched all she could about the spell itself, but no one ever mentioned those sensations. As the three week mark was swiftly coming to a close, she resolved that her Friday would be cleared to accomplish just that: she would know her animagus habitat by Saturday morning, even if it killed her.
Friday was a blur, and after excusing herself early with a significant glance to the boys, she left back to her dorms. Taking a relaxing bath and sitting in front of the fire cross-legged, she decided to implement the drift technique described in the book. Thinking about the astronomy tower again, she snorted when she wondered if this was a subtle hint from her mind to get bent. If my animagus is Trwaleny, I'll just jump off the Tower as the spell is being cast, less misery that way.
She scrunched her eyebrows as it happened like it did every time she tried to meditate. The heat would come from her chest, and slowly radiate outwards until it was sweltering. It felt like that time she was conned into going to a tanning booth by her cousin Steph, and the baking feeling was quite similar to the one she feels now. Her skin got so itchy, she couldn't take it anymore and broke her concentration to scratch at it miserably.
What the hell am I going to tell the boys?
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